Master Link Building — A Complete Backlink Outreach Guide

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Online searching has completely transformed. Search engines now try to understand their users better and consequently, optimized websites have also changed. 

With the increasing changes and competitiveness of the industry, your approach to SEO must be holistic and pay attention to technical, on-site, and off-site SEO, quality content, and any other aspect that helps websites rank on Google’s search pages. 

Despite that, backlinks are still a crucial part of search engine optimization. With that, outreach is the strategy that plays the leading role in the link-building process. This article will take you through the link-building world and give you strategies to help you gain backlinks. 

Link Building Introduction: What is Outreach?

When you email or contact relevant bloggers, journalists, and website owners to tell them about your content and request a backlink that redirects to your webpage, you are doing outreach for link building

The main goal of this process is to gain authority and overall improve your ranking factors. Another great feature of outreach and backlinking is that it allows you to put your product or service in sight of your target audience.

When you want to do outreach campaigns, you must consider some tools and strategies the Internet offers to site owners. From outreach email templates to fundamental strategies, here’s what you need to know.

Link Building Strategies

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Website authority is an essential SEO factor, and backlinks are the ones that help your website gain that authority. Many marketers and SEO experts believe that backlinks are the stars of SEO, and they’re not wrong: top-ranking pages on Google’s SERPs have 3.8 more links than their competitors. 

To increase your website’s backlinks, here are some strategies you can use: 

Cold Emailing

The most common outreach strategy is emailing. Its main goal is to build bridges between you and website owners who might not know your page. 

It might sound spammy to you at first (and it can, if you’re not strategic about it!), but it turns out that email outreach is one of the most common and effective strategies marketers, SEO experts, and web page owners use. 

When contacting people via email to ask for link opportunities, here’s what you must consider: 

  1. Keep your emails short and provide concise information. 
  2. Pitch your best work. 
  3. Don’t email the person of interest repeatedly.
  4. Avoid being too informal or too formal. 
  5. You can have email outreach templates, but personalize them as you create each email. 

The first email’s goal is to start a conversation, to set the foundation to build the bridge. Once you get a reply, the second pitch comes in. In this case, you’ve probably conducted keyword research and are ready to pitch a few titles to the person you’re talking to. When doing this, be confident about your expertise. Don’t close your second email with a What do you think?  Instead, opt for a more assertive phrase like Let me know which works for you!  

Guest Posts 

When you send cold outreach emails, you’re most likely asking to write a guest post. Guest posting is when you create valuable content for another website, which, in return, has links to your page. Sometimes, these website owners authorize just one link to your site. Others allow you to include up to three or more. 

When searching for possible guest posts candidates, narrow your options by finding web pages or blogs with high authority. Let’s take a deeper look: 

Choose Authoritative Websites

Before sending link-building outreach emails, you must ensure you contact people with high authority within your industry and learn if they accept guest posts. If not, your efforts might be in vain. 

To learn about websites and their authority you can use tools like the ones Ahrefs offers. Conducting these audits will help you see if sending cold emails to the owners of the web pages you’re interested in is a good idea. 

Send a Request

It’s time to put your outreach efforts to work. Make the most of the cold emailing strategy we saw above. Remember that, frequently, the fun begins at the follow-up, and the first email is where you introduce yourself and start a conversation. 

Deliver the Goods

Prove your expertise by delivering an excellent piece with the number of backlinks the blog owner approved. You want to deliver the highest quality article possible and make it as rich and engaging as you do for your page. 

This article will act as a business card for people who will get acquainted with your business through this guest post, so you want to ensure your card is polished and follows the guidelines the site owner provides. 

The Skyscraper Strategy

This approach is a link-building tactic in which you find content with a high number of links, and then you create a version of this topic but take it to the next level. 

Next, you reach out to the ones linking to the previous post and ask them to link to yours. You’ll need to consider the following items: 

  • To use this technique successfully, you must ensure you’re working on high-performing pieces. The goal is to create an excellent post, and you must find successful posts to do this. 
  • Add value to your post. Remember that you’re creating an improved piece on a popular topic. 
  • Finally, send outreach emails to the ones linking to the popular post using the cold email guide above. 

The Moving Man Strategy

This technique involves locating outdated links on web pages with a great backlink profile and asking them to link back to your site. 

The goal is to locate a link that isn’t working, contact the owners, and ask for a backlink on that faulty URL. This technique is useful for building a solid backlink profile for your page in an easier way. 

Link Building and Local SEO: Can I Use the Same Strategies?

Nowadays, businesses, especially the ones on a smaller scale, focus on building their online presence locally.

There are several tools out there to achieve this, from excellent business listings like Google Business Profile, which allows you to add crucial business information like name, phone, and address (NAP), helps you include the services your business offers, add pictures, updates, promotions and events, and many other things.

But if your ultimate goal is to achieve a high-quality backlink profile for your local business, you will find the strategies are significantly different from the ones you’d use for global SEO. For example, one of the biggest advantages business owners have when they focus on link-building is that they can join local business events and earn partners from these gatherings. 

Another prominent difference is that, while it is advised that you aim for websites with high Domain Ratings when working on global SEO, this isn’t as relevant for local SEO. Chances are that the businesses in your area have websites with low DRs, and yours is probably not that much higher. Don’t worry! While Google’s ranking factors aren’t known to the general public, many, including Bright Local experts, have concluded that local SEO has different ranking factors, and DR is not one of them. 

Becoming a Backlink Outreach Champion

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If you want to become a link acquisition champion, then you must consider the following items: 

Keep Your Backlink Profile in Check

Before deciding which backlink outreach strategy you want to use, you must know your backlink profile status before sending emails and asking to write guest posts. 

Backlink audits will help you know pages with backlinks to your website. It also lets you find any harmful link that could taint your website’s domain authority and overall ranking. 

Know Where Your Competition Stands 

The process of getting backlinks includes checking on your competition, too. To have a successful link-building campaign, you must know how your competitors are doing. 

This information will make it easier for you to determine which strategy is right for your site, and help you know who to keep on your radar and who goes to the vetting list. 

Conduct a Gap Analysis

Outreach involves doing a gap analysis. To pitch a guest post, you must know which keywords will work for those blogs.

Doing this will help you find link prospects and start your link outreach email experience. 

Be Careful! Avoid These Mistakes

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Anybody makes mistakes, especially when they’re beginners at the task before them. However, remember these tips to keep your backlink outreach as productive as possible. 

  • You have to give what you take: If you reach out to a web page owner and ask them to link to you with anything in it for them, chances are the linking process will fall off. Avoid making these owners think alright, but what’s in it for me? by making an offer from the beginning. 
  • Sending a billion emails won’t do much: You contacted a blog writer, and they haven’t reached back, so you decide to email them daily. Well, the blog writer might flag your emails as spam if you do this. Give it some time, and if you don’t hear from them in a few days, reach out again. 
  • Keep your target realistic: Targeting everyone under your industry’s sun won’t always do the work. It’s better to focus on specific beneficial sites than keeping your options so broad you don’t know which one works for you. 
  • Be patient: You want results quickly, of course. However, getting backlinks is not a snap-of-a-finger process. Be patient and constant, and don’t get frustrated if you don’t see much success initially. Give it time!

Wrapping Up 

Backlink outreach is a must if you want to improve your SEO rankings. And while it takes time, seeing the results of your efforts will be a game-changer for you and how you manage your website. 

We hope this article helps make the outreach process friendlier and gives you the tools to maximize this SEO factor. Thank you for reading!

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